Seraph: Top Gun in the World of Angels

The name of the character ‘Seraph’ (played by Collin Chou) is a term for a high-level of spiritual entities kabbalistic tradition. The term refers to a “burning one” – something Neo sees when he first views him.

In our background material on the worlds of existence, we discussed how the realm of angels is the world between the spiritual heavens and our physical earth. This refers to the concept of angels as ‘messengers’ – which is the literal meaning of angel in Hebrew (‘malakim’).

Seraphim, however, are not “messenger-angels.” They are associated with the world of Beriah, the upper world of Creation – the world of the Oracle.

Matrix Seraph and OracleSeraph: Guardian of the Heavenly Throne

A seraph can thus be seen as the ‘guardian’ in the world of Beriah, and in relation to the Matrix, guardian of the Oracle.

The Oracle is the critical connection between the humans ‘below’ and the upper worlds ‘beyond’ hers.

This is why Seraph states:

“I protect that which matters most.”

In what sense does the Oracle “matter most?”

The Oracle as the emanation of “Understanding, at the level of Creation, connects everything below it.

This is expressed in this kabbalistic work:

“This is the sefirah called Binah. You must be aware that this is the Name that connects all the sefirot with its powerful bonds of emanation and magnetism. For this is the third name of the three highest Names which are united ... From this name the everflow of light, emanation and blessing, flows through all the channels until the lower seven sefirot are blessed from the three upper sefirot.”
 “Sha’are Orah” (Gates of Light) Yosef Gikatilla, 12th century

To Fight is to ‘Know’ Him

Neo meets with the Oracle three times – once in every movie. She sets his condition,’ each time, which he then has to learn to understand and fulfill. When Neo ‘meets the condition’ given to him, he has rectified that level of himself – of his soul. (And we get another movie!)

Neo did have something he had to attain even before his first meeting with the Oracle. In “The Matrix,” he had to ‘fight’ Morpheus to become ready to meet the Oracle (i.e., connect to Binah).

This connection was at the soul-level of Nefesh in the first Matrix movie, which is also the aspect of Binah/Oracle in the ‘lowest’ world of Asiyah/Making.

In order to now access Binah/the Oracle at the next soul level of Ruach (the next world of Yetzirah/Formation), Neo once again has to ‘fight’ someone. Only this time it’s a real battle, at least until Seraph stops it. 

This leads to a sensible question:

As Neo has a much stronger knowledge of the Matrix by now, why does he have to get into this fight – even if it isn’t a ‘real’ one?

Seraph’s ‘Riddle’

Seraph gives a strange answer to Neo’s inquiry as to why they had to fight:

“You do not truly know someone until you fight them.”

The term to ‘know,’ in kabbalah, is da’at. It relates to an “intimate connection” between things – where something becomes ‘one’ with the other. 

This can be physical, emotional, intellectual, or spiritual. The same term is used in the Biblical narrative to describe things from Adam and Eve having sexual relations, to the prophets ‘connecting’ with G-d in a meditative state.

Neo had to create the proper ‘connection’ before Seraph could let him move forward to meet the Oracle at this new, higher level, and embark on his next ‘condition.’

This is his task in The Matrix Reloaded.

This is the same principle Morpheus was teaching Neo in their early combat training. He had to “connect with” the rules of the Matrix, which he could then bend and even break, through fighting his teacher. 

The clue is found in what Morpheus said to his student:

What are you waiting for? You’re faster than this. Don’t think you are, know you are.

As we will see, Neo ‘knowing’ this about himself, directly relates to the sign in the Oracle’s apartment (“Temet Nosce” = Know Thyself).

A Fight of Biblical Proportion?

There is another mystical aspect to the struggle between Neo and Seraph. As we explain in another post, Neo is the connection between the two feminine elements of Trinity ‘below’ the program (angelic) world, and the Oracle ‘above’ this realm.

In the Biblical narrative, Jacob was married to two women. Rachel and her sister Leah. Rachel was his “true love,” and through some “hidden circumstances,” he also ended up marrying her sister, Leah.

In the Matrix, Neo’s ‘lower’ (more personal) connection is with Trinity. She is ‘Rachel’ in the allegory, who is at the level of the Sefirah of Malkhut. His upper, more ‘mystical’ connection is with the Oracle, who is associated with Leah, at the Sefirah of Binah, ‘hidden’ above (in the world of Beriah and soul level of Neshama).

“Jacob has two identities. Jacob and Israel. This is an idea with which we are familiar from the biblical text. The Ariz’al explains that Jacob was married to Rachel while “he” who is identified with is Israel was married to Leah. This is not a case of schizophrenia; rather, Jacob embodies two missions which need to come to fruition. These missions are represented by Leah and Rachel.”
Rachel and Leah, Aish HaTorah

Jacob was only given this second name of Israel after he showed he could deal directly with a mysterious angel (called ‘man’ at the beginning of the text). This represents entry into the ‘angelic’ world of Yetzirah (and second soul level of Ruach) which is the level we are at in the beginning of Matrix Reloaded.

And Jacob was left alone, and a man wrestled with him until the break of dawn. When he saw that he could not prevail against him, he touched the socket of his hip, and the socket of Jacob’s hip became dislocated as he wrestled with him. And he (the angel) said, “Let me go, for dawn is breaking,” but he (Jacob) said, “I will not let you go unless you have blessed me.” So he said to him, “What is your name?” and he said, “Jacob.” And he said, “Your name shall no longer be called Jacob, but Israel, because you have commanding power with an angel of God and with men, and you have prevailed.”
Genesis 32:25-29

As with Jacob and the angel, Neo’s ‘fight’ with Seraph revealed something ‘internal.’ This is confirmed after he proved himself and sat with the Oracle, who said to him,

” Come around here and let me have a look at ya. My goodness, look at you! You turned out all right, didn’t you?”

But wait, there’s more …

Although Jacob was not “in love” with Leah, he did have six sons by her. These represent the six sefirot of “Ze’ir Anpin” which correspond to the second angelic (‘masculine’) level of Yetzirah, which as mentioned above, is where we are at in the Matrix story. Neo’s entry into this next realm and the new struggles he must face (with all of the new characters, many Smiths, etc.), are those of the soul level of Ruach he is now dealing with in this second part of the story of the “path of the One.”


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